In March, the Nuckolls Fund for Lighting Education announced the 2023 recipients of its annual grants and awards, which totaled $140,000. Founded in 1988, the Nuckolls Fund “supports the development of innovative college-level lighting programs for the technology and esthetics of lighting design with grants, and assists deserving students with awards to further their lighting design education,” according to a press release. The fund is named after James L. Nuckolls, the late lighting designer and educator who, among many achievements, wrote the seminal textbook Interior Lighting for Environmental Designers (first edition, Wiley & Sons, 1976).
Two educators each received the $30,000 Nuckolls Fund Grant to expand lighting curriculum. Alyssa Humphries Stewart, associate professor and director of the Center for Lighting Education at Texas Christian University, was successful in her proposal, “Integration of CAD to BIM: The design process and technology paradigm shift in architectural lighting design education and practice”; as was Clotilde Pierson, assistant professor of architectural engineering at Oregon State University, who proposed improvements to educational learning modules in “Daylighting design through experiential learning pedagogy.”
Additionally, two educators each received a $30,000 Lesley Wheel Introductory Lighting Program Grant. Lauren Dandridge, adjunct assistant professor at the University of Southern California School of Architecture, as well as a principal of Los Angeles–based firm Chromatic, was successful in her proposal, “Exploring exterior lighting design and its effect on health, community, and nature.” Robert “Bob” Davis, an affiliate faculty member in the civil and architectural engineering department at Tennessee State University who also teaches at the University of Colorado Boulder and works as chief lighting research engineer at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, earned a grant for his proposal, “Expanding lighting education: A step towards a more diverse academic pipeline into the lighting professions.”
The Nuckolls Fund also distributed four $5,000 awards to students in lighting. S M Ashik Rahman, at the University of Colorado at Boulder, received the Jonas Bellovin Scholar Achievement Award; Nayoun Ryu, Parsons School of Design, won the Jules Horton International Student Achievement Award; and Bentley Tonniges, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, and Aaron Zimmerman, Pennsylvania State University, each received the Designers Lighting Forum of New York Student Achievement Award.
The Nuckolls Fund’s board of directors reviews the grant and student award applications. In the organization’s press release, Nuckolls Fund president Lee Waldron said, “Each grant principal investigator emphasized the importance of their revised curricula to the students who would be taking the knowledge gained with them into the lighting industry, which will ultimately benefit the end user.”
Along with Waldron, the Nuckolls Fund board of directors comprises Daniel Blitzer, Practical Lighting Workshop; Julie Blankenheim, Chicago Lightworks; Tom Butters, Lighting Agora; Erin Speck, George Washington University; Conor Sampson, CS Design and McGill University; and Brian Stacy, Arup. Since its founding 35 years ago, the Nuckolls Fund has distributed more than $1.85 million.